How Timeline will Affect Businesses

Last week F8 announced the new changes. The first was Timeline, if you watched the video above or the F8 conference you know the massive changes in the way profiles will be displayed. It will be more of a lifestream rather then the profiles we know. I eerily reminds me of Tumblr. The second are changes to the Social Graph. Which I won’t cover too much in this post.

It was said that there will be no changes to Facebook Pages or Tabs. However, if you remember with the last profile revision, they did change the Pages about 8 months after the profiles changed. We can pretty much guarantee that pages will be Timelines, but Facebook has not said when, so stay tuned.

I have come up with a few areas businesses need execute to have an easier transition to Timeline.

    Likes on Facebook are not showing up in the News Feed – I haven’t confirmed this but I have read in many places, if you like something on Facebook it’s not showing up on the users news feed for friends to see. This really will affect the way business is conducted on Facebook. I am not sure if this will change but in the mean time businesses and marketers need to get likes off Facebook. This would include content, pictures, videos and such. From what I understand, likes off Facebook are still showing up on the news feeds. This may change, so keep reading Mashable and other blogs to see. Implication: Drive people to your off Facebook properties to gain exposure on Facebook.

Apps will take a Bigger Role on Facebook – As stated in the F8, Facebook is going to integrate apps into the Timeline. Brands are going to need to develop apps that interact and give consumers something interesting and different. One of the apps they profiled was the Nike app, that showed running routes and how they are shared. Apps that aren’t engaging or bring value to the consumer will be ignored. Implication: Apps are going to be a new way for brands to connect with consumers. They must bring value, be engaging and easy to use.

    Consumers have more control on what shows up in Timeline – Consumers now have a lot more control on what shows up on their profile. Its now about the person’s life and milestones. Brands that currently engage and create content that is meaningful to consumers will get shared. Those who push sales or irrelevant messages will be hidden. Implication: Brands need to create engaging content that consumers will want to interact with.

Brands Must Become Part of Peoples Lives – as I have mentioned above, brands must now become a part of consumers lives. Before it was about consumer taking action to like a brand, now it’s going to be about how brands become part of the story. I can see certain brands will have problems with this. If you use Facebook like traditional media you are not going to be successful. It’s time to really engage fans if you are not doing it. Implication: Brands need to show how they part of peoples lives.

These are a few things I see. I got inspired by an article I believe from AdAge. I bookmarked the article at my previous job so I can’t recall who I read. If you remember this article let me know.

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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